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It shouldn't be a surprise when you don't get the results you expected, if you don't invest in planning.

Here are 10 Mistakes To Avoid
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Restaurant Reservations In The Cloud

We've seen all sorts of unique hospitality concepts and built a product that has enough options and custom variables to accommodate almost all hospitality applications. In fact, we love a challenge.

All restaurants are unique in one form or another. Restaurants are typically defined by the personality and experiences of the owner and their objectives which vary over time. As a result, restaurant booking styles are different by means of guest seating priority, party size definition and placement, customer status, reservation policies, etc.

Here is a concept that a restaurateur thought up for a festival. It's one of the more interesting challenges that involved reservations for both seats and groups, plus 3 different online booking streams.

If you have a unique restaurant or reservation style or policy, contact us and let us see what we can do for you.
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Since Restaurant owners should decide how they want to operate their restaurant, we don't impose demands or restrictions on how they manage restaurant reservations online or in-house.

It's entirely up to the hospitality operator.

Here are 5 things you should insist upon in a reservation system.

1. Insist on absolute control and ownership of your customer database.
• You worked hard to build up your customer list. Don't give it away.
• Don't surrender it to a 3rd party so they can slowly take it over and start marketing to your local competitors.

2. Insist that you maintain full control over online reservations.
• Don't accept restrictions on how you market your restaurant online.
• This means you can use any other online booking tools on your website and on listing sites.

3. Ask about some basic online booking settings and make sure you can change them yourself.
• Can you set the maximum number of guests you want to accept in each time slot and vary by day of the week?
• Can you define the online restaurant reservations software profile to drive business to off-peak periods to increase table turns?
• Can you cutoff online reservations, prior to service, so you aren’t surprised by a party booking a table for 6 while sitting in the restaurant parking lot?

4. Ask if the system has a full range of analytical reports.
• Can you get a detailed Reso log for each meal period in the day and it should all the booking details and any applicable promotions the guest has selected?
• Can you see current, past and future bookings, with ratios compared to previous time periods and other performance criteria to help manage the reservations process?

5. Make sure the system can handle online promotions and events.
• You want to have the flexibility of creating online promos for specific times, meal periods or days. When selected by the online customer, the Reso log and reports should clearly show these special booking features.
Please Click Below If You Would Like More Information
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While social media can be a great promotional tool, the downside comes down to one concept - reputation management. As a recent article in Hospitality Technology points out, customers in today’s social media-obsessed world are quick to head to their favorite outlets online to praise – or complain about – businesses they frequent.

By promoting public commentary on your business, you are exposing your soul in terms of any flaws in your operation. If you feel good about the quality and level of service at your establishment, this can be an amazing opportunity. If you don’t, it may well backfire.
The way you respond to customers is also critical. Responding unprofessionally or inappropriately – even for a small, local business – can become a viral nightmare in a matter of hours.

According to Hospitality Technology’s Customer Engagement Technology Study, 90% of respondents use restaurant social media. Only about 1/5 of those, however, use technology to monitor and analyze that content. Employing third-party technology to monitor their feeds enables businesses to respond quickly and effectively. The publication also predicts that 2015 will be a big year for social loyalty platforms, which provide monetary rewards for customers’ social activity – creating even more feedback to manage.

Honest feedback from your customers ultimately serves to help you in your daily operations – provided you’re open to listening and altering things if it’s really necessary. Should you listen to one crabby customer? Maybe, maybe not. But if you are consistently getting bad reviews from your customers on bad service or poorly prepared dishes, it might be time to hire a few new servers or take a good, long look at your menu.

A few tips for managing your restaurant social media channels:

- Monitor social media pages closely and respond to clients promptly – especially if they had a bad experience. Aim for a reply in 30 minutes to one hour – even during off hours.
- Respond professionally, and remember the age-old adage: The customer’s always right.
- Consider using third-party technology for restaurant brand management. It can scan for comments both inside and outside your own channels, as well as giving you a broad view of feedback trends.
- Listen. If your customers are telling you there’s a problem, it very well may be true.
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Word of mouth is the most powerful marketing tool in the hospitality industry. Happy diners tell their friends and family about their experience at your restaurant and that is more effective than any marketing or advertising that you do on your own. Unfortunately, the reverse is also true, and negative statements made about your restaurant can drive potential customers away long before you've even had a chance to reach out to them. With online reputation management tools you can limit the negative effects of what customers say and accentuate the positive.

There are two types of sites where you must be concerned about your restaurant's reputation online. The first are review sites, like Yelp, where customers are encouraged to give semi-anonymous reviews about their experience. Outside of writing good reviews and posting them yourself, there is little that you can do to control your restaurant's image via review sites, so it is important that you use your energy elsewhere.

You must do all you can to drive potential business to your restaurant website, not that of some third party. There are many brand-stealing reservation-only portal websites that are happy to live off your restaurant's reputation and sell you bookings that are rightly yours to begin with. Some even assume control of your customer base for their own marketing purposes. Make sure you are maximizing your restaurant's business while staying in control of it!

All-in-One Restaurant Marketing and Monitoring

Social media is where you need to use restaurant brand monitoring tools to control your brand's image and build a stronger customer base. Consumers "like" and share information on social media constantly, and when they do so, they give you an opening to communicate with them. As long as you provide the customer with relevant content and give them a reason to say positive things about your restaurant, you can harness the power of the word of mouth marketing these customers provide.

Restaurant brand management tools make handling your online reputation and engaging with you customers much easier than you could do on your own. Armed with these tools, you are able to keep a close eye on what people are saying about your restaurant by tracking what they say and what they share about your business. This allows you to retain a measure of control over the conversation about your restaurant brand on social media so that you can steer the conversation and gently guide perceptions about your business in the direction that you want them to go.

Brand and reputation management are more important in today's digital economy than they have ever been. With the right online reputation management tools you have the ability to affect directly what consumers are saying about your restaurant and use the power of word of mouth marketing to your advantage.
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